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Thread: Pokers Political Corner

  1. #1

    Pokers Political Corner

    So it's been what? 6 years of the Conservatives in power and quite frankly Im for one completely disillusioned with this bunch. And let's be honest, the facts are its already been an awful year for them so far.

    Steely wants this to be a separate discussion from the Queen topic, so, I thought I'd open up this thread to use to discuss our thoughts on this current government.

    So I'll try and edit some of the points I've already made...

    The 1% rich population, exists to place the rest of the population as lesser citizens and to misrepresent power.

    The rich are getting richer and inequality is greater.
    We've been told, "Let the rich get richer and we will all benefit" - Like it's going to filter down to us all, but instead, all that's happened and is happening now is the gap is getting bigger and bigger between the richest 1% and everybody else.

    In the UK we gave the banks more than £133 million pounds, more than £4000 per person. Since the crash bankers have paid themselves more than £100 BILLION pounds in Bonuses.

    Just 2 years after massive and huge bail out by the British tax payer the bosses of the banks, the CEO's of the big banks were STILL taking home 300x the average UK wage.

    The same people policing the banks are the Lord mayors of London who work for the banks. They are judging themselves.

    And this is the problem. It's what people have become to accept as 'normal'

    These same bankers have demanded they're not overly regulated and demanded that it's made impossible for them to go to jail and so far ALL have avoided jail under this leadership in Britain.

    All while the looters of 2011 riots got collectively 18,000 years jail service, benefit cheats and disability cheats etc have all felt the firm arm of the law.

    Special 24/7 fast track courts were setup to prosecute looters for what they did. The Police were so keen to catch these criminals to send out a clear message. Fines have been given out to pay extra penalties.

    Did the bankers have special fast track 24/7 courts set up for ripping off the customers for setting up £23 billion pounds worth of PPI which they didn't need? Or what about the standard chartered money laundering involving 60,000 illegal translations adding up to $250 billion? or HSBC's money laundering? Or how many bankers went to jail for the illegal rigging of the Libor rates involving trillions of dollors? Or one of the latest ones, the foreign exchange rate scandal?

    All of the organisations that are set up to run the banking industry are set up by the bankers. The same people are committing the crimes are then judging themselves. By creating a financially complex capitalism there has been a massive inequality of power in the UK.

    Lord Stevenson
    Fred Goodwin
    Andy Hornby
    Sir Tom McKillop

    All these geezers have been involved in horrendous criminal activity. And since the bail-out George Osborne has made £81 billion pounds of cuts on us - During the same time frame time £80 billion worth of bonuses have been awarded.

    At the end of the second World War public debt was twice as high as it is now. But we didn't have austerity, we had a belief that things should be fairer, that there should be a quality of opportunity for everyone, we invested in schools, hospitals, social housing, transport. And this investment made the economy grow, which gave us the money to pay off the debt.

    For the last 5 years we've had austerity, the Con-servatives have cut investment wages and they have stagnated and, debt is much bigger now than it was 5 years ago.

    Jobs are being cut in the public sector. Police, Hospitals, Fire Service etc to pay for debt.

    Where I work staff are being employed on new contracts that are just over £20,000. Most of them can't even afford to live in the area where they work and have to travel, yet the bosses are trousering millions because of the ever increasing profit the corporation makes.

    This doesn't add up?

    If you have children, what are your hopes for them after they finish studying? where are they going to live in London? How are they going to pay their student debts? (if they decide to go to Uni?) because students in the UK are stacking up average debts of £45k - £9k per year of studying.

    Medical students who finish their university years will have debts of £80,000 before they even start.

    Junior Doctors are striking because they are expected to work for goodwill. How many Tory MP's work for goodwill?


    I think the British people are being very short changed and are unhappy and fed trying to make ends meet with high streets full of betting shops, charity shops, cash converters and fast food restaurants while the 1% rich are getting richer and richer.

    I was gobbled smacked when I saw the Tories voted back in. And of course they have continued to tax the living daylights out of the poor and middle class while the rich have a completely separate set of rules.

    Time is ripe for change.

  2. #2

    Panama Papers Whistleblower

    The whistleblower behind the Panama Papers broke their silence on Friday to explain in detail how the injustices of offshore tax havens drove them to the biggest data leak in history.

    The source, whose identity and gender remain a secret, denied being a spy.

    “For the record, I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor, and I never have. My viewpoint is entirely my own.”

    The whistleblower said the leak of 11.5m documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca had triggered a “new, encouraging global debate”, thanks to the publication last month of stories by an international consortium of newspapers, including the Guardian.

    “Shell companies are often associated with the crime of tax evasion. But the Panama Papers show beyond a shadow of a doubt that although shell companies are not illegal, by definition they are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes,” the source wrote. “Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time.”

    “The prevailing media narrative thus far has focused on the scandal of what is allowed and legal in this system. What is allowed is indeed scandalous and must be changed.”

    In what amounts to an 1,800-word manifesto days before David Cameron holds a global anti-corruption summit in London, the source singled out the Conservatives, saying they had been “shameless about concealing their own practices involving offshore companies”.

    Cameron was forced to disclose last month he held shares in Blairmore, his father’s offshore investment fund. More than 40 countries are due to attend the summit on Thursday.

    The source behind the Panama Papers got in touch last year with Bastian Obermayer, an investigative journalist with Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. They used the name John Doe and sent the message: “Interested in secret data?”

    The source gave Süddeutsche Zeitung leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca’s internal database in real time instalments. The papers included details of the beneficial owners of offshore companies, passport copies, and emails. The newspaper shared the material with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in Washington.

    In one of the biggest collaborations in journalistic history, the ICIJ gave access to the data to 100 media organisations, in 83 countries, which spent a year investigating them.

    The source said they decided to act after understanding the “scale of the injustices” the documents described. Mossack Fonseca denies wrongdoing and says its operations in Panama and elsewhere are “beyond reproach”.

    Since the publication of the papers last month, governments and law enforcement agencies have sought access to the files. The ICIJ had “rightly” declined to help, the source said, but added: “I, however, would be willing to cooperate with law enforcements to the extent that I am able.”

    Intriguingly, the source said they originally offered the documents to “several major media outlets”. Editors reviewed the Panama Papers but in the end “chose not to cover them”, they alleged. It is unclear which media organisations declined the material.

    The anonymous whistleblower also approached WikiLeaks – again without success. “Even WikiLeaks didn’t answer its tip line repeatedly,” the source complained, adding: “The media has failed.”

    The source was excoriating about the legal profession, which helped set up tens of thousands of Mossack Fonseca-run shell companies. More than half the law firm’s offshore corporations were based in the British Virgin Islands, a UK-administered tax haven.

    “Mossack Fonseca did not work in a vacuum. Despite repeated fines and documented regulatory violations, it found allies and clients at major law firms in virtually every nation,” the manifesto claimed.

    The source was also critical of governments, in particular over their harsh treatment of whistleblowers. They appear to have been inspired at least in part by the example of Edward Snowden, who in 2013 revealed how the US and UK routinely monitor the communications of their own citizens. The Obama administration has charged Snowden with espionage and he was “stranded in Moscow”.

    “For his revelations about the NSA, he [Snowden] deserves a hero’s welcome and a substantial prize, not banishment,” the source said.

    Other whistleblowers who have faced punishment for their actions include Antoine Deltour, the source noted. Deltour is on trial for revealing how Luxembourg secretly sanctioned massive, aggressive cross-border tax avoidance by multinational corporations.

    The source supported moves by Cameron to introduce public registers of offshore companies which would show the beneficial owners of companies. Britain is to introduce a public register for UK companies next month. But Downing Street has so far been unable to persuade Britain’s overseas territories to follow suit. They have offered to share information, but only with law enforcement agencies and only on demand.

    Despite some positive steps, the UK government needed to do more, the source said: “The UK still has a vital role to play in ending financial secrecy on various island territories, which are unquestionably the cornerstone of institutional corruption worldwide.”

    The whistleblower was generally underwhelmed by official reaction to the leak. In New Zealand, the prime minister, John Key, had been “curiously quiet” about his country’s role in enabling “financial fraud” in the Cook Islands. In the US, tax evasion could not be fixed, the source argued, while politicians relied on the super-rich for campaign funding.

    The source concluded on an optimistic note. In an age of “inexpensive, limitless digital storage” and internet connections that transcend national boundaries “the next revolution will be digitised”.

    “Or perhaps it has already begun,” the source said.

    Credit: Süddeutsche Zeitung

  3. #3

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Viva la revolution Comrade!

    You're sounding a bit Russell Brand there. To be fair all this stuff about the gap between the rich and poor getting wider and the deregulation of the banks pre-dates the current Tory government. All the political parties have signed up to Thatcherism and the magic of the markets. Any deviation from this thinking results in the policy being ridiculed as outdated - it is outwith the Overton window. You only have to look at poor Ed Milliband, he was branded as 'Red Ed' by the Daily Mail and without any evidence it stuck with some people and all he was suggesting was a freeze on energy prices and a mansion tax - not exactly hardcore Marxism!.

  4. #4

    Re: Pokers Political Corner


  5. #5

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus
    Viva la revolution Comrade!

    You're sounding a bit Russell Brand there. To be fair all this stuff about the gap between the rich and poor getting wider and the deregulation of the banks pre-dates the current Tory government. All the political parties have signed up to Thatcherism and the magic of the markets. Any deviation from this thinking results in the policy being ridiculed as outdated - it is outwith the Overton window. You only have to look at poor Ed Milliband, he was branded as 'Red Ed' by the Daily Mail and without any evidence it stuck with some people and all he was suggesting was a freeze on energy prices and a mansion tax - not exactly hardcore Marxism!.

    I know. Unfortunately the media play a heavy hand in influencing the minds of a lot of people.

    Here is what Jeremy Corbyn wants for Britain though as a alternative:

    Against austerity.

    Against the Iraq War

    Against bombing Syria

    Against benefit caps

    Wants to scrap trident

    Against sexisim

    Believes half of MPs should be women

    Wants to renationalise energy companies so they could be regulated.

    Bring rent controls in London.

    Build 240,000 new homes each year.

    Reduce the deficit by by progressive tax.

    Re- indroduce 50% higher tax for higher earners.

    Sounds a right mug doesn't he?

    Unfortunately people are heavily influenced by what they read in the papers and the media before making a rational decision on what really needs to happen in the UK.

  6. #6

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    You are preaching to the converted in my case Pokers, I've always been a leftie ever since I really started thinking about the world as a teenager. In terms of social justice, it has always seemed natural and obvious to me that unless governments curb and control the excesses of greed inherent in Capitalism it is inevitable that the poor and the vulnerable will get f*cked over again and again, you only have to have a vague awareness of the big bad world to know that is pretty much the reality.

    One thing the "credit crunch" and banking crisis taught us is that many of the supposedly "talented" top people in our banks and investment institutions aren't as talented as they want us to believe, they are glorified punters getting carried away at the casino. Many of the spectacular financial scandals have had at the centre brokers/dealers purchasing investment "products" without carrying out due diligence in terms of risk assessment, simply because it was so easy to do and often yielded massive bonuses that quickly made them personally rich. I can imagine they don't give a flying f*ck about the thousands of investors who ended up losing out as a result of their ill judged gambles - make millions, retire to some sun kissed island and spend the rest of your days partying. "Who cares about the 'little people'? I'm f*cking minted mate." That is what it actually boils down to in most of these scandals. I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing doesn't repeat itself in the next 10 years.

    The banking crisis also exposed the lie that we live in a "free market", that applies when businesses are going under and jobs are being lost, but in the case of the banks despite incompetency and greed leading to massive losses they got a "get out of jail" card courtesy of the tax payer. They got that because there are too many vested interests, i.e. the very wealthiest in the nation stood to lose out, but millions of ordinary people would have lost out as well. The fact is they have become so big and so integral to our economy that we can't afford for them to fail. It is a recipe that encourages rampant greed and high risk investment - so what if you burn millions, the taxpayer will always be there to bail you out. It requires strong and exacting regulation from the government to keep it in check, and you are more likely to get that from a left wing government. Tories like to minimise "regulation" in business under the guise that it allows businesses to generate wealth more easily, it also helps to make the rich richer and keep the poor in Shitsville. Tories, I f*cking detest them.
    He's magic you kno-oow, Mauricio Poch-ett-ino!

  7. #7

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pickleman1967
    I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing doesn't repeat itself in the next 10 years.
    Its pretty much inevitable. When you have a financial system that throws itself on the mercy of the market then a boom-bust economy is the end product. During the boom years then the traders and bankers get rich then when the bubble bursts the bankers call on the state to bail them out. Its ironic that when capitalism fails it is soclailism that runs to the rescue!.

  8. #8

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus
    Quote Originally Posted by Pickleman1967
    I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing doesn't repeat itself in the next 10 years.
    Its pretty much inevitable. When you have a financial system that throws itself on the mercy of the market then a boom-bust economy is the end product. During the boom years then the traders and bankers get rich then when the bubble bursts the bankers call on the state to bail them out. Its ironic that when capitalism fails it is soclailism that runs to the rescue!.

    I wonder why we don't do what Iceland did.


    You may have heard about Iceland’s toppling economy back in 2008. As one of the hardest-hit countries at the time, Iceland’s heavily criticized method to escape veritable economic demise actually did the trick.


    Faced with the possibility of financial failure, Iceland had to think on its feet. Instead of bailing out banks USA-style, the country forgave mortgage debt for the population – and completely started over from square one.

    A country with a small population of roughly 320,000 citizens, Iceland‘s entire banking structure “systemically failed” in the early days of the 2008 recession. Despite the fact that Iceland is still on the road to recovery, the country ranks high as a politically and economically stable nation. Their success over the last few years has been largely under-reported, and the story behind it is quite fascinating.

    Let’s face it: Icelanders are tough. They are entirely isolated, living in frozen tundra, perpetually enduring less-than-optimal weather patterns. While they are surrounded by epic natural beauty, these people aren’t spoiled; they’re tenacious.

    Instead of allowing the criminals responsible for bank fraud to run free as the years passed by, Iceland thought it might be wise to actually indict bankers who committed serious financial crimes that contributed to the collapse. By paying off loans for consumers, forgiving homeowner debt (up to 110% of the property value), and throwing the offenders in prison, Iceland was able to bounce back. Now, its economy is “recovered” and is growing faster than both the US and European economies.


    When Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimmson was asked whether or not other countries – Europe in particular – would succeed with Iceland’s “let the banks fail” policy, he stated the following:

    “Why are the banks considered to be the holy churches of the modern economy? Why are private banks not like airlines and telecommunication companies and allowed to go bankrupt if they have been run in an irresponsible way? The theory that you have to bail out banks is a theory that you allow bankers enjoy for their own profit, their success, and then let ordinary people bear their failure through taxes and austerity. ?People in enlightened democracies are not going to accept that in the long run.”

    Grimmson’s “famous” reply to the controversial question, “What is the reason for Iceland’s recovery?” is most remarkable.

    “We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”

    Picking Up the Pieces On the Road to Recovery

    Of course, though, everything isn’t all rosy. Many Icelanders have two or three jobs to sustain themselves and their families post-2008, and a sudden spike in taxes – an inevitable result of letting the banks fail – made the burden even harder to bear.


    Though unemployment is down (it’s less than 5% of the population), you could say that “Iceland is a victim of its own success.” Very high standards of living and 60-70 hour work weeks create a bit of a pinch in the pockets. Difficult challenges lie ahead, but whichever way you look at it, Iceland did avert a seemingly incurable catastrophe. The point is that Iceland was criticized for allowing the banks to fail – and we now know that the disparaging remarks from scathing critics were too quick to judge.

    Since 2008, Iceland has added jobs to its tourism and green energy sectors. In fact, according to the Icelandic Tourism Board, foreign visitors increased last year by 15.9% – and travel now accounts for 5.9% of GDP.

    However unorthodox in its method, Iceland’s “let it fail” policy resulted in jubilation. We can’t seek perfection in the years after a global financial collapse, but we can acknowledge nations who persevered with integrity.

  9. #9

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Have you thought about getting involved in local politics Pokers as you clearly have a passion about it and care about the less fortunate in our society?

  10. #10

    Re: Pokers Political Corner

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokerkings


    I wonder why we don't do what Iceland did.


    You may have heard about Iceland’s toppling economy back in 2008. As one of the hardest-hit countries at the time, Iceland’s heavily criticized method to escape veritable economic demise actually did the trick.


    Faced with the possibility of financial failure, Iceland had to think on its feet. Instead of bailing out banks USA-style, the country forgave mortgage debt for the population – and completely started over from square one.

    A country with a small population of roughly 320,000 citizens, Iceland‘s entire banking structure “systemically failed” in the early days of the 2008 recession. Despite the fact that Iceland is still on the road to recovery, the country ranks high as a politically and economically stable nation. Their success over the last few years has been largely under-reported, and the story behind it is quite fascinating.

    Let’s face it: Icelanders are tough. They are entirely isolated, living in frozen tundra, perpetually enduring less-than-optimal weather patterns. While they are surrounded by epic natural beauty, these people aren’t spoiled; they’re tenacious.

    Instead of allowing the criminals responsible for bank fraud to run free as the years passed by, Iceland thought it might be wise to actually indict bankers who committed serious financial crimes that contributed to the collapse. By paying off loans for consumers, forgiving homeowner debt (up to 110% of the property value), and throwing the offenders in prison, Iceland was able to bounce back. Now, its economy is “recovered” and is growing faster than both the US and European economies.


    When Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimmson was asked whether or not other countries – Europe in particular – would succeed with Iceland’s “let the banks fail” policy, he stated the following:

    “Why are the banks considered to be the holy churches of the modern economy? Why are private banks not like airlines and telecommunication companies and allowed to go bankrupt if they have been run in an irresponsible way? The theory that you have to bail out banks is a theory that you allow bankers enjoy for their own profit, their success, and then let ordinary people bear their failure through taxes and austerity. ?People in enlightened democracies are not going to accept that in the long run.”

    Grimmson’s “famous” reply to the controversial question, “What is the reason for Iceland’s recovery?” is most remarkable.

    “We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”

    Picking Up the Pieces On the Road to Recovery

    Of course, though, everything isn’t all rosy. Many Icelanders have two or three jobs to sustain themselves and their families post-2008, and a sudden spike in taxes – an inevitable result of letting the banks fail – made the burden even harder to bear.


    Though unemployment is down (it’s less than 5% of the population), you could say that “Iceland is a victim of its own success.” Very high standards of living and 60-70 hour work weeks create a bit of a pinch in the pockets. Difficult challenges lie ahead, but whichever way you look at it, Iceland did avert a seemingly incurable catastrophe. The point is that Iceland was criticized for allowing the banks to fail – and we now know that the disparaging remarks from scathing critics were too quick to judge.

    Since 2008, Iceland has added jobs to its tourism and green energy sectors. In fact, according to the Icelandic Tourism Board, foreign visitors increased last year by 15.9% – and travel now accounts for 5.9% of GDP.

    However unorthodox in its method, Iceland’s “let it fail” policy resulted in jubilation. We can’t seek perfection in the years after a global financial collapse, but we can acknowledge nations who persevered with integrity.
    In fairness with a population of 320, 000 Iceland represents what we'd call a town, it is much easier to control things and bounce back with such a tiny population. I'm not so sure we could have handled things in the same way without hurting too many ordinary savers and investors who invested their hard earned hoping for an honest return. In our situation I'm of the view that tighter controls on our financial services (aka gamblers) is the way to go.
    He's magic you kno-oow, Mauricio Poch-ett-ino!

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